Last week, Facebook announced that it had acquired messaging tool WhatsApp for $16 billion. The acquisition signalled the definitive failure of Facebook’s own Messenger app, as well as the social media giant’s foray into territories it could only conquer by buying its “rivals” out. So, for this fortnight, here are three other apps (all free) like WhatsApp that you can look out for.

Line

For the untrained eye, Line is WhatsApp. But the more you use it, you realise that Line is WhatsApp that’s been thought through unto a grander form. Apart from letting you chat with your friends in a distraction free environment (and also in private mode), Line has a slew of other amazing features that — unobtrusively — make your messaging experience more lively.

There is a rich variety of stuff you can buy from within the app — like Line stickers, which seem a hot market — and sell to other friends. You could also buy themes.

If you register the app on your phone with your email ID, you can log in to Line from your PC or Mac and access messaging services from the cloud, visit chat logs, and maintain your friends list.

Kik

Kik doesn’t require your phone number for you to get in touch with your friends. Instead, simply install the app and add friends with their email IDs or other contact information, such as their Open IDs. Available for iOS, Android, Blackberry (on which it was launched in 2009) and Windows Phone 8, Kik also comes with a built-in browser to access web apps. Imagine being able to tap into a Soundcloud song that you can listen to with your pals...

Tango

Tango is actually a closeted social network masquerading as a messaging app. It offers the same functionality as WhatsApp (and also has includes Line’s ability to access your messages from a desktop browser), but then it goes a step ahead and offers voice calls, video calls, in-app purchases, games, and photo-sharing.

It doesn’t end there. If you’re in a place where Spotify the music-streaming platform is active, you can share songs and discuss them with your friends from within the app itself because of some nifty integration. Moreover, Tango also helps you make new friends by suggesting people nearby with similar interests as you.

It’s available for all platforms except Blackberry.